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City struggles to keep up with snow removal

Sidewalk coordinator asks for additional funds

City struggles to keep up with snow removal

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The La Crosse sidewalk coordinator told a city committee there's only about $4,000 left in the $35,000 budget.

The money is used to clear any walks in the city that are not shoveled within 24-hours after snow stops falling. Residents who don't are charged $2.50 a lineal foot.

A city contractor has cleared 19,000 feet of snow from sidewalks this winter. City sidewalk coordinator Doug Kerns said invoices so far have ranged from $125 for a 50-foot sidewalk to $3000 for a 100-foot sidewalk.

The city is already behind on clearing the walks and a handful are added every day. Sidewalks need to be shoveled down to the concrete.

"We probably still have 200 addresses on a list that we need to address from last week that we didn't get to, mostly complaint driven, lots of complaints," Kerns said.

On average, the city receives about 10-20 complaints per day about sidewalks that are not being shoveled. Kerns said most of those are from rentals and foreclosures.

Kerns said if the city does not receive payment, it becomes a special assessments on the homeowner's taxes. About 75-percent of the payments come from taxes, Kerns said. The city has not given citations yet.

The Board of Public Works committee approved $25,000 additional funds on Monday, but it still needs to go through the council.

If you need salt to help keep your sidewalks clear, there is a free salt-sand mixture available for residents at the La Crosse fire stations.

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